My wild nights with Ewan
Saturday 21 November 1998
Five days in the life of Lou Gish, the only woman in the cast of `Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs', with Ewan Mcgregor, at London's Hampstead Theatre
My only day off since we started rehearsing the play at the beginning of October. Missed everyone, because we're all so used to being together. Just chilled out and watched TV. Ate a huge amount of food and went for a walk with some pals. In the evening, went out for yet more food with my sister. Limped back, exhausted, to bed.
Got to Hampstead Theatre around lunchtime. Gagging to see everyone. It was quite nerve-wracking because we'd been away for a day, which makes all the difference. We were all raring to go, and went straight into rehearsal. Working with Denis Lawson is brilliant. He's divine - he's also my mum's partner and they've been living together for the past 12 years, so he's really like a stepdad. We have a sort of shorthand when we work together. He'll say: "Do that thing you do," and I know exactly what he means.
I've also known Ewan since we were about 14. It's a real relief to be working with someone I know so well. It made rehearsals so much easier. He's so brilliant, but at the same time I can't believe he's the Ewan McGregor I've always known. Years ago, we said wouldn't it be lovely to act together, before we even went into acting, so this was like a dream come true.
All the attention is on Ewan but I just take that for granted. I've got used to the fact that he's on every magazine cover and is hugely successful. Of course, it's all going to be focused on him. Before I took it on, I realised it may be a little like working with a boy band - everyone would be screaming at them. But it doesn't encroach on the rest of us and what we do. We all accept he is the star - he deserves it.
Preview in the evening, which went well. Finished around 10.30pm and then off to The Adelaide pub in Hampstead. Had a bit of a drink, while Denis gave us some after-show notes on how it all went.
Went shopping all morning and spent loads on clothes - Agnes B in Hampstead. Came back and had to lie down - felt so weak at the amount I'd spent.
Back at the theatre for the afternoon - did warm-ups and a rehearsal. Preview in the evening and then home. Ewan was well up for a night out, but the rest of us wanted to save ourselves for press night tomorrow.
Went shopping - again. Couldn't find any shoes and felt annoyed. Bought first night good luck cards for everyone instead. Came into work far too late, around 5.30pm, because I'd been bloody shopping. The boys had been there since 4.00pm, and done a warm-up session which, of all nights, I'd missed. Terrible news. We all run around the stage shouting at each other like mad bastards, but it really relaxes and focuses you. The fact that I wasn't there made me feel nervous.
Went into my dressing room which was full of flowers from friends and family. Started to feel excited. There was so much energy coming off us; we were all so up for performing that night. Before our first preview, Ewan was really nervous, because it's the first stage play he's done for years. Now he gets off on it so much - he loves it.
I did feel terribly sick, though. I'm not on for the whole of Act I, so your nerves build up throughout the evening.
At some point, you know there's no going back. I'm not going to say what happens, but as soon as I'm on stage with Ewan, I really enjoy myself. It's my favourite scene when it's just me and him on stage.
When the show ended, we all went completely mad. Went back to my mum's house - she'd organised a party for us all. Ewan's parents came, and his old music teacher turned up. We danced into the night. Denis is a fantastic bongo player, and played all evening. Ewan danced madly to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Home at 4am.
Woke up at 2pm. Made a cup of tea and some porridge. Did absolutely nothing all day. Went for a walk and then off to the theatre again, to meet my boys.
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